HC refuses relief for learning disabled IIT-B student

The high court refused to direct IIT-B to issue her formal degree primarily in view of the fact that in the first place she was not qualified to be admitted to the course

mumbai Updated: Apr 20, 2018 01:21 IST
Kanchan Chaudhari
Kanchan Chaudhari
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,bombay high court,IIT-B
The judges also noted that the petitioner sought to take benefit of reservation extended to persons with disability only after realising that she had failed to secure qualifying marks in Part-A entrance examination.(HT FILE)

City resident Naman Varma, who successfully completed all the semesters of a master’s degree in Industrial Design at the Industrial Design Centre of the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B), will not get the degree.

The Bombay high court on Wednesday refused to direct IIT-B to issue her formal degree primarily in view of the fact that in the first place she was not qualified to be admitted to the course.

The division bench of justice MS Sanklecha and justice AK Menon noted that Varma had applied for two-part entrance test for the master’s course through general category, although she suffered from a learning disability – dyscalculia. The judges said that although by now she has successfully completed the entire course, they cannot order grant of degree to her and only the Supreme Court can issue such a directive by exercising its extraordinary powers under Article 142 of the Constitution of India — to do complete justice between the parties.

“We are of the view that although the petitioner may be entitled to be declared successful in the course we are unable to grant her any further relief in this petition for want of necessary powers under Article 226 to declare the petitioner as having passed M.Des programme held by IDC,” said the bench.

The judges also noted that the petitioner sought to take benefit of reservation extended to persons with disability only after realising that she had failed to secure qualifying marks in Part-A entrance examination.

Varma had applied for the master’s course with IIT-B after securing a degree in Bachelor of Design (Product Design) from Symbiosis International University. She secured 50% marks in Part-A entrance examination when the rules required general category candidates to secure minimum 64%. After noting that qualifying marks for Part-B examination were 32% for physically handicapped category, she sought admission through physically handicapped category on the ground that she suffered from a learning disability.

Varma approached the high court after the Industrial Design Centre (IDC) of the IIT-B refused to consider her plea through the PH category and acting on her plea, the high court directed the institute to consider her plea. She thus secured admission to the master’s in design course through physically handicapped category and has now completed the entire course, and what remained was only formal issuance of the degree by the IDC, which IDC refused to do.

First Published: Apr 20, 2018 01:21 IST